Pastor Maldonado believes his 2013 Formula 1 season performance was his best yet, despite struggling at the back of the field with Williams.
The Venezuelan, who won last year’s Spanish Grand Prix for the team, managed just one point this season thanks to a 10th-place finish in the Hungarian GP. Maldonado finished behind rookie teammate Valtteri Bottas in the standings, and was outqualified by the Finn 12-7 by the end of the year.
Despite that, Maldonado, in his third season in F1, feels 2013 was the best he has driven so far.
“Thinking about the results and thinking about what I experienced in F1 for the past three years, I think this is my best year, even though the results are not there,” Maldonado said. “I learned a lot from all the mistakes, especially from a technical point of view, and I think I will help the team where I will be [Lotus] not to make the same mistakes. I feel experienced, I feel ready.
“I had so many good races this year with good pace, no penalties. I was in a good learning process. The speed was always there because even in my first year I was quicker than Rubens [Barrichello], who was very quick and very experienced. Still the speed is there, you don’t get stupid overnight! I just need to have a good car, good support from the team and try to improve myself in every way.
Maldonado is now leaving Williams to drive for Lotus in 2014 alongside Romain Grosjean. The Venezuelan believes his ability to adapt quickly to new conditions and rules will help him shine from the start next season.
“It is the same for everyone so I don’t see the point in being worried about it,” he added. “We need to adapt ourselves, both team and driver, for these conditions and I think I am quite good at adapting myself quickly to new things and I hope to be competitive from the beginning.”